How many of you have purchased a new car and been invited to a yearly event to celebrate that new car? Never. Well that’s what happens when you purchase a car from Toyota Australia! Now we hear you, they don’t make this sort of song and dance about every Toyota that rolls off the showroom floor right? Well the mighty Toyota 86 is no ordinary car.
The 86 is inspired directly by the cult classic AE86 Corolla, that first appeared in 1983. This original car truly captured fans both extreme and casual with it’s nimble handling, RWD configuration and lightweight body. 30 years ago it broke free from the shackles of the ‘Corolla’ family name and was celebrated the world over. Production ended in 1987 and the Corolla then became the economy FWD hatchback we know today.
Toyota rekindled this flame and brought us the 86! Like the original, we see RWD return along with a very well constructed chassis with enough power to move it around a corner or three.
Now in it’s second year of production, it was time to celebrate and that means one massive party called Festival of 86!!
Toyota quickly discovered that good looking/handling cars come and go and fans do too unless you acknowledge and support them as a community. Toyota Australia are still finding their feet when it comes to a car like the 86, but everything we’ve seen them put their time and money into has been head and shoulders over the other manufactures in this country. With events like the Festival of the 86 to supporting one of Australia’s best drifters and letting them take an angle grinder to their creation, Toyota have well and truly helped cement the 86 as a ‘must have’ car for enthusiasts young and old.
This years Festival of 86 was again held in Sydney, but this time with the stunning backdrop of the White Bay Cruise Terminal. Don’t be fooled, Toyota weren’t in it just to push their latest product as the venue was littered with classic AE86’s everywhere!
You can’t look to the future without acknowledging your past, and when the past looks this good, who can blame you?!
86 owners were invited from all over the country to show off their pride and joy.
We love hunting out all the little touches owners have been adding to their cars, making the 86 a blank canvas for all tuners and enthusiasts alike.
This is the absolute picture perfect example of the original hatchback. Two tone paint, Watanabe wheels and JDM pop up headlights.
Who doesn’t love this face?
While the 86’s filled up outside, we headed indoors for all of Toyota’s displays and a visit from some special guests.
Between us and the doors, we found Sydney based Tunehouse Racing’s 86. Fresh from the World Time Attack Challenge, this car not only looks great but goes like a Zyrtec! This was the fastest 86 with a lap time of 1:42.8530 in the club sprint class.
Inside 86 owners gathered for some words from some of Australia’s top level drivers about their own experiences with the Toyota 86.
Neil Bates and Beau Yates are no strangers to high performance Toyota’s, Neil has won countless rally championships behind the wheel of various Toyota’s including both Corolla’s and the Celica GT-Four.
Neil drives around town in his own personal turbo charged 86 featuring the same two tone white/black paint made famous from the Japanese anime Initial D.
Beau is known for not only his skills drifting, but also his meticulously built and maintained drift AE86. His original car was built with backing from TRD and featured a 3 litre beams motor.
Flash forward and Beau is now competing in a ground up drift built turbo 86 with support from Toyota Australia. Beau has spent the last 12 months tuning and perfecting the car and has been very competitive in recent months.
The man behind the car, for the second year in a row Toyota Australia flew Tetsuya Tada in from Japan. Tada San is the chief engineer responsible for building the car we all know as the 86.
He loves meeting the fans and seeing how people have taken his creation and adapted, changed and of course enjoyed it!!
After queuing up for a chance to meet the man himself we began checking out all the high quality builds inside. Garage 88’s 86 is the perfect blend of performance and street car.
Beau’s purpose built drift car, it’s hard to believe this was just a stock standard car fresh off the showroom floor a little over a year ago.
The engine bay is filled with custom built goodies from the team at Hypertune – the same team helped build Beau’s original 86 so it was a no-brainer to get them on board for his new project.
A lot of 86’s have been given the Rocket Bunny treatment but not many pull it off as well as Beau’s drift car. The huge rear arches sit so well against the angry looking taillights and we just love that rear wing!
Our favourite street 86 of the event? This black number on Work XSA-04C wheels was beautifully executed! The duckbill wing and lip kit flows perfectly with the factory lines in black.
We were really blown away to see what the festival had become since the first event last year, check out our coverage here.
Motivational 86. We’re always fans of what the team from Cars For Hope do. If you’ve ever suffered from depression you’re not alone, jump on their site and connect with people who have fought the same battles.
Back out in the sun we enjoyed our last walk through the car park, taking in all the Toyota goodness that was on display.
It’s great to see a retro racer untouched from 30 years ago. There’s something so nostalgic about old race car livery and all the brand logos.
Panda’s as far as the eye can see!
The coupe is quite the rare sight here in Australia. We were fortunate enough to receive the hatchback as a locally delivered model.
We have to admit the smooth looks of the Trueno pop up headlights are our favourite of the original 86’s.
More Watanbe’s!!! This is definitely the wheel of choice amongst AE86 owners.
New 86 owners seem to opt for anything from the Rays or Work Wheels catalouge, that’s not a bad thing at all!
It’s not all about super lows, this white 86 was flexing it’s muscles atop a set of Ray TE37’s wrapped in some super sticky rubber!!
Some owners really got into the festival!
Everywhere we looked we spotted a new lip kit or spoiler but we have not idea how owners keep up with it all. There’s literally too much to choose from!!
What a show! We were wrapped to once again be invited back by Toyota to enjoy the festivities of the 86’s 2nd birthday.
The 86 has proved it won’t be disappearing anytime soon with the this much support from fans, tuners and of course the manufacture! We can’t wait to see what Toyota have up their sleeve for updates and new models on the horizon.
Thanks for reading and till next year, happy Birthday 86! #festivalof86
Photos courtesy of Roberto Mocchetti | Full Motion Photography